Listen to Keeler’s 911 Broadcast from 22 Years Ago, 9/11/01
22-years-ago on September 11, 2001, it was a normal radio morning for WIBX's Bill Keeler. He was doing his morning show on rock radio station WRCK and it seemed like a normal morning. Somewhere shortly after 8:46 a.m. things began to change as the television in the studio began showing images of fire coming from the World Trade Center in New York City. The on-air crew would soon find out that America would never be the same.
Keeler was on the air with his normal crew from 2001. Frank McBride, Kay Howland and Matt Barbuto were on air with Keeler in the studio and he had just taken a call from a woman named Debbie from Rome.
"There's just a story that just hit the news," Keeler announced in a somewhat unconcerned delivery. "Apparently an airplane has hit the World Trade Center," he announced. He then began playing audio of Katie Couric of the Today Show who repeated the statement and then went to what is now a historic phone call from an off-duty reporter named Jenifer who explained, she had never seen anything like what she just witnessed. Keeler then said, "there is smoke coming from the World Trade Center." That exchange began an exhausting nearly 7 hour extension of the radio station's morning show as Keeler would end up broadcasting into the early evening.
The YouTube video below is the actual audio from Keeler's archives from that morning's radio show, beginning at about 8:50 a.m. and continuing for more than 5 hours. The audio is unedited and includes audio from television networks, tv stations, news networks, and local callers as they lived the entire experience of 9/11 live on the radio.
In full disclosure, during the program the show took calls from listeners who were devastated and angry, and some of whom gave racist statements about people in general, based on the race and religion of those who carried out the terrorist attacks.
The events that happened on 9/11 would ultimately turn out to be the worst attack on American soil, as 2,977 innocent people died as a result of the attack. One of the great outcomes from the tragedy would ultimately be the way Americans came together patriotically beginning on September 12th. As a nation, we also resisted attempts to blame a certain race or religion for the pain and suffering we experienced on that terrible day.